If you are a small, medium or enterprise class business-to-business technology company, your needs are best served with a boutique PR agency partner.
Why? There are a few reasons.
The requirements of media covering IT and technology are specific and nuanced
Technology PR is very nuanced and very targeted, and typically involves a deep, rather than surface understanding of how a newsroom at a tech publication works.
Many large and even some small agencies are mostly generalists. This means they have clients servicing many different industries. For example, an agency might have clients in the consumer packaged goods, healthcare, finance, retail and a list of many more industries. This means they are likely targeting many different media types, with no depth of understanding those audiences. They simply don’t have the time or cycles to pay better attention to the media they are targeting.
Additionally, when you look at the IT and tech outlets, many of the seasoned editors have been inside the industry for at least 25 years. This makes it critical to have access to senior people on the agency side, but who also continue to be hands on in their roles, meaning they pitch media regularly.
At a larger, multi-industry agency this is hard to achieve because the senior executives are busy growing their own businesses. They have larger budgets, so that allows them to delegate all of the day-to-day work to others. This makes them several steps removed from the discipline of PR, and erases the hope of them being connected to actual journalists.
As a client, you might be shuffled around in favor of the agency’s competing priorities
If you are tech company and you opt to partner with a large, global, multi-industry agency, your needs might get pushed down over time, in favor of the agency’s larger corporate and financial needs.
For example, in a post-Omnicom and WPP-era, so many agencies, even those claiming to be smallish or even mid-sized—are actually owned by large advertising conglomerates, many of which are beholden to shareholder value and other financial demands placed on them. These larger corporate initiatives and dynamics often overshadow your day-to-day needs as a client.
With an independent, boutique agency, you can rest well that your needs are at the top of their list all of the time, because they simply don’t have the same financial and other corporate pressures to distract them. They focus on YOU, meeting your objectives and your needs.
Integration across offline and online digital marketing channels is far more likely to occur organically at a small boutique
While mid-sized and large PR agencies certainly have access to various offerings in other departments—ranging from creative to digital to lead generation—gaining access to such services in a natural, organic way is nearly impossible.
This is because these services live outside of the core PR business, and are typically separate P&Ls with competing leaders, interests and agendas.
For small boutiques, this is a foreign concept. For example, at Idea Grove, our creative talent, content talent, PR pros, digital media pros and the like are all one team, reporting to a single person, with a focused mission: provide results-driven, great client service. We can pull in anyone we want to add value to discussions, lend strategic guidance or just brainstorm a new idea. There is zero bureaucracy, politics or process needed to punch through. We just want to get the job done for our clients, and we tend to just focus on striving toward the results.
Independent, tech PR boutiques are thought leaders for their industry
All agencies will talk to their client contacts and executives about thought leadership as an important part of the marketing and PR mix. What smaller tech boutique agencies can also do is provide their own thought leadership, within technology circles but also within marketing and PR circles.
At Idea Grove, our founder Scott Baradell was one of the first to actively blog, well over a decade ago. That led to a series of great things, including impressive SEO rankings, and exposure to all kinds of new clients and projects. It also cemented our place in the marketing world when it comes to offering insights and advice.
And it made us more relevant to our clients. For example, when we provide counsel to our clients on a speaking platform—whether it’s how and what they post to their Twitter account, or what their executives should be blogging about—we can draw on our own specific work and results, rather than just relying on past client work.
Ultimately, boutique agencies are not just an “agency” per se, they are a partner. They are unencumbered by red tape and devote more energy and resources to accomplishing your goals. When you choose a boutique, you are choosing a team with deep subject matter expertise, high integration and a desire to provide the best results and in-depth insights.